Leonid Meteor Shower of 2023

Away from city lights from 6th  November 2023 to 30 November 2023 people can witness the celestial spectacle of a Leonid Meteor Shower from pollution-free dark skies a few hours before the sun rises towards the East.

Leonid Meteor Shower: A meteor is a shooting star (layman’s Language), space dust about the size of a grain of sand. The dust hits the earth’s atmosphere and burns up in a blaze of light.

Where does space dust come from? Comets and asteroids pass through our solar system. These objects leave dust behind them. When the earth crosses through these dust clouds we see a meteor shower.
In the case of meteors originating from comets When a comet flies close to the sun, intense heat vaporizes the comet’s "dirty ice" resulting in high-speed jets of comet dust that spew into interplanetary space. When a speck of this comet dust hits Earth's atmosphere traveling at greater speed, it disintegrates in a bright flash of light—a meteor!

Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle – The source/Parent body of Material for this shower: The parent comet of this shower, 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, passed its perihelion last in 1998, more than two decades ago now. Meanwhile, the comet has passed its aphelion; the next perihelion is only due on 2031 May 20. Meteoroids we observe now are ahead of the comet. The knowledge
of the dust ejection mechanisms and trail evolution allowed us to predict and verify variable activity in numerous years until recently.

Name – Leonid – Constellation of Leo: This Meteor shower is called “Leonid Meteor shower” because the location of the shower is radiant in the constellation Leo i.e the meteors or streaks of light appear to stream from, in the background of Leo constellation in the sky.

When is/was this meteor shower at peak: the IMO states "The (regular") nodal Leonid maximum should occur on 2023 November 18, 05h UT. Maslov (2007) gives November 17, 22h UT with an expected moderate rate of about 15. 

Where to Look and Best Time: the best time for observing this spectacle from India is after 2.30 am. when the constellation of Leo is sufficiently above in eastern horizon. One has to look towards the direction between North East and East Direction.

Society suggests observation from pollution-free dark clear skies away from city lights with good horizons for a splendid experience.

15th Anniversary of Chandrayaan 1 (MIP) Landing On Moon - 14 Nov 2008

Yes today 15 years ago on 14 Nov 2008. The Indian Space Research Organisation ( ISRO) purposefully crash-landed *Moon Impact Probe (MIP) * as part of the Chandrayaan 1 Mission. Which landed Southpole of the Moon's Surface. The Moon Impact Probe had the Indian Flag embedded on its four sides.

Further, MIP (Moon Impact Probe) while descending onto the surface of the Moon discovered *water vapor in the moon's exosphere. Here is a post reminded of "Facebook Memories" from 2014. https://www.facebook.com/raghunandan.psi/posts/10152901705162728 .

*Every year* on Children's Day we at Planetary Society, India have been reminding the public with lectures/posts about this historic Day. 15 years ago in 2008 today 14 Nov The Indian Flag reached the moon's South pole. *Here* is 10yr old article https://www.ournewplanets.info/2013/11/indian-flag-on-moon-on-14-nov-new-truth.html.

Further below here is *Dr. Kalam's Statement after the MIP Landed on Moon 14 Nov 2008*. This Statement is Dr.Kalam's 15-year vision for the Indian Space Programme. And according to this statement of Dr.Kalam, we should have landed an *Indian Astronaut* on the Moon by now in 2023. 

On 17 Oct 2023, our organization (Planetary Society of India) completed 20 years. *As a great coincidence* on the same day on 17 Oct 2023 *PM Modi* after discussion with ISRO Scientists gave a vision/plan for 17 Years.


According to PM Modi's Vision by the year 2040 Indian Astronauts will walk on the Moon*. For more details see the description of the short video

15 Launch Anniversary of Chandrayaan 1 Mission - 22 Oct 2008

15 years ago today on 22 Oct 2008 6.22 a.m. Chandrayaan 1 Mission was launched on PSLV C11 Mission .

Chandrayaan-1, derived from the Sanskrit words for "Moon" and "vehicle," was India's maiden lunar exploration mission. This Mission comprised of an orbiter and an impactor. Propelled by a PSLV-XL rocket, Chandrayaan-1 embarked on its journey from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on October 22, 2008, at 00:52 UTC.

This marked a significant milestone in India's space program, showcasing the country's capability to develop indigenous technologies for lunar exploration. Chandrayaan 1 was successfully inserted into lunar orbit on November 8, 2008.

Importantly, the mission achieved a major feat on November 14, 2008, when the Moon Impact Probe detached from the orbiter and executed a controlled impact on the lunar south pole. The probe struck near the Shackleton crater at 8:31 p.m IST (15:01 UTC), leaving its mark on the lunar surface at a location christened Jawahar Point. 

20th Anniversary Celebrations of Planetary Society, India - 17 October

 20 Anniversary - Year Long Celebrations (17 Oct 2023 to 17 Oct 2024) : We thank all our students, teachers, and well wishers, enthusiasts for their support. I especially thank my mentors for their guidance. Importantly media friends for taking our work/articles across India creating awareness in the general public and students.

**Note**: Our Logo (where all continents come together is a simulated image of Earth 250 million years from now in future). And is based on our motto for Universal Brotherhood. The Dark patches in our organisation name( in this poster) are symbolic representations of **Dark Night Sky sites** in India & across the world.. which are getting extinct. Hence we need to protect them as ancient heritage of humankind.

Aditya L1 Mission Update

 **Aditya L1 Mission - Final Good Bye to Earth 19 Sept 2.am**.: Early hours of 19 Sept around 2am. **ISRO scientists* will execute a maneuver/operation called **Trans-Lagragean Point 1 Insertion (𝐓𝐋𝟏𝐈)**. With this Aditya L1 will start its journey towards L1 point.Thus **finally leaving** the orbit around Earth.

**All the Best Team ISRO and Aditya L1**


15 JULY 2023 UPDATE : 

Source : Times of India / ISRO 

15 July 2023 EBN : The operation, which was carried out to increase the spacecraft's apogee (farthest point from Earth) began at around 12.05pm as planned and lasted for 11-and-a-half minutes, multiple scientists confirmed to STOI.

After Saturday's maneuver, "Spacecraft is now in 41762km x 173km orbit," said Isro.

Minor Burn on 16 July 2023 If all goes as planned, scientists will carry out a minor burning of onboard propulsion systems on Sunday 16 July to increase the perigee (closest point to Earth). It will be pushed to about 220km from the current position.  "The perigee will then remain stable. The remaining three manoeuvres we've planned will all be for apogee raising," another scientist said.

The three other operations around Earth, as reported by TOI earlier, are planned for July 18, 20 and 25 to push apogee to around 1-lakh-km before Isro attempts to slingshot the spacecraft towards Moon, in the intervening night of July 31 and August 1.


On 14th July 2023 another historic space exploration mission to moon was launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from SHAR, Sriharikota. Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-up lunar exploration mission by ISRO after Chandrayaan-2 and it would reattempt a soft-landing near lunar south-pole (69.37°S, 32.35°E) on 23 or 24 August 2023. Chandrayaan-3 composite consists of a propulsion module, lander 'Vikram' and rover 'Pragyan' and cumulatively they have 6 science payloads and a laser retroreflector on them.

Speaking to reporters after the successful launch, ISRO Chairman S. Somanath said the next 42 days are crucial. “As per the nominal programme, we will have five earth-bound manoeuvres [that] will end on July 31. After that we have the trans-lunar insertion, [which] will take place on August 1. After that, it will be captured [by the] moon.This will be followed by the separation of the propulsion module and the lander module on August 17. “The landing is currently planned on August 23 at 5.47 pm IST, if everything goes as per plan,” he added.

Hailing the launch, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Chandrayaan-3 scripts a new chapter in India’s space odyssey. It soars high, elevating the dreams and ambitions of every Indian... This momentous achievement is a testament to our scientists’ relentless dedication. I salute their spirit and ingenuity!”

Minister of State Jitendra Singh, who was present at the launch, said, “It is indeed a moment of glory for India. Thank you team ISRO for making India proud... Today is also a day of vindication: vindication of the dream Vikram Sarabhai [had] six decades ago.”



In the coming months various historic mission are being planned to launched from our country in coming months/years. On one hand, India is sending a mission to the moon, and other hand sending a mission to Sun. At the same time, India is preparing for Gaganyaan Mission to take our own astronauts to space.

Hence, on eve of India’s third Mission to Moon  Chandrayaan 3 launch on 14 July 2023 Planetary Society of India is starting 75 days unique campaign called “To the Moon and Beyond”. Beginning with Chandrayaan 3 regular updates of the journey of the mission to moon will be shared on daily basis. Importantly awareness sessions in Schools, Colleges will be organized during period of this campaign.

Invitation to Schools/Colleges to Host: Educational institutions in both telugu states and across India can contact us at 799 348 2012 www.ournewplanets.info for hosting the sessions.  In this regard Veteran Senior Scientist C. Ramakrishna Retd. ISRO has released the poster at the meet. 


Before we discussion overall specification. Here is the gist of several advanced technologies which are present in Lander such as,

  1. Altimeters: Laser & RF based Altimeters
  2. Velocimeters: Laser Doppler Velocimeter & Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera
  3. Inertial Measurement: Laser Gyro based Inertial referencing and Accelerometer package
  4. Propulsion System: 800N Throttleable Liquid Engines, 58N attitude thrusters & Throttleable Engine Control Electronics
  5. Navigation, Guidance & Control (NGC): Powered Descent Trajectory design and associate software elements
  6. Hazard Detection and Avoidance: Lander Hazard Detection & Avoidance Camera and Processing Algorithm
  7. Landing Leg Mechanism.

Preparation : To demonstrate the above said advanced technologies in earth condition, several Lander special tests have been planned and carried out successfully viz.

  1. Integrated Cold Test - For the demonstration of Integrated Sensors & Navigation performance test using helicopter as test platform
  2. Integrated Hot test – For the demonstration of closed loop performance test with sensors, actuators and NGC using Tower crane as test platform
  3. Lander Leg mechanism performance test on a lunar simulant test bed simulating different touch down conditions.

The overall specifications for Chandrayaan-3 is provided below:

Sl No.ParameterSpecifications
1.Mission Life (Lander & Rover)One lunar day (~14 Earth days)
2.Landing Site (Prime)4 km x 2.4 km 69.367621 S, 32.348126 E
3.Science PayloadsLander:
  1. Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA)
  2. Chandra’s Surface Thermo physical Experiment (ChaSTE)
  3. Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA)
  4. Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) Rover:
  5. Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS)
  6. Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) Propulsion Module:
  7. Spectro-polarimetry of HAbitable Planet Earth (SHAPE)
4.Two Module Configuration
  1. Propulsion Module (Carries Lander from launch injection to Lunar orbit)
  2. Lander Module (Rover is accommodated inside the Lander)
  1. Propulsion Module: 2148 kg
  2. Lander Module: 1752 kg including Rover of 26 kg
  3. Total: 3900 kg
6.Power generation
  1. Propulsion Module: 758 W
  2. Lander Module: 738W, WS with Bias
  3. Rover: 50W
  1. Propulsion Module: Communicates with IDSN
  2. Lander Module: Communicates with IDSN and Rover. Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter is also planned for contingency link.
  3. Rover: Communicates only with Lander.
8.Lander Sensors
  1. Laser Inertial Referencing and Accelerometer Package (LIRAP)
  2. Ka-Band Altimeter (KaRA)
  3. Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC)
  4. LHDAC (Lander Hazard Detection & Avoidance Camera)
  5. Laser Altimeter (LASA)
  6. Laser Doppler Velocimeter (LDV)
  7. Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera (LHVC)
  8. Micro Star sensor
  9. Inclinometer & Touchdown sensors
9.Lander ActuatorsReaction wheels – 4 nos (10 Nms & 0.1 Nm)
10.Lander Propulsion SystemBi-Propellant Propulsion System (MMH + MON3), 4 nos. of 800 N Throttleable engines & 8 nos. of 58 N; Throttleable Engine Control Electronics
11.Lander Mechanisms
  1. Lander leg
  2. Rover Ramp (Primary & Secondary)
  3. Rover
  4. ILSA, Rambha & Chaste Payloads
  5. Umbilical connector Protection Mechanism,
  6. X- Band Antenna
12.Lander Touchdown specifications
  1. Vertical velocity: ≤ 2 m / sec
  2. Horizontal velocity: ≤ 0.5 m / sec
  3. Slope: ≤ 120